Scotland 7-22 Ireland: Farrell's side dig deep to move within one win of Grand Slam
Ireland defeated Scotland 22-7 in an entertaining Six Nations contest at Murrayfield to move to within one victory of landing a first Grand Slam since 2018.
Andy Farrell's side had defeated Wales, France and Italy in the opening three rounds and were a point better off than Scotland at the end of a gripping first half in Edinburgh.
Mack Hansen cancelled out Huw Jones' try to help give the visitors their slender advantage, which James Lowe added to shortly before the hour in a crucial moment in the match.
Jack Conan gave Ireland breathing space soon after to ensure they sit four points clear of France ahead of hosting England in the final round of fixtures.
Iain Henderson grounded early on for Ireland, only for the officials to rule out the try on a technicality as the line-out that Caelan Doris intercepted was taken with a different ball.
Ireland dominated but only had Johnny Sexton's penalty to show for it, and it was Scotland who opened the try count when Sione Tuipulotu played in Jones to dive over.
Finn Russell added the extras, but Ireland responded 10 minutes later through Hansen, who raced in down the right to ground despite Duhan van der Merwe's best efforts.
Hugo Keenan's fine challenge stopped Van der Merwe from racing through, but Ireland's problems mounted when Ronan Kelleher – a replacement for Dan Sheehan – limped off.
It remained a one-point contest until, after a few near-misses, Ireland worked the ball to the left and Lowe dotted down with 56 minutes played.
Conan showed good pace and power to score a third Irish try following good work from Hansen, with Sexton making it two successful conversions out of three.
That drew Sexton level with Ronan O'Gara for the most Six Nations points scored, but he did not have any further opportunities to edge in front as Ireland missed out on a bonus point.
Ireland one win from clean sweep
A sixth win in a row for Ireland against Scotland in the Six Nations leaves them one win away from landing a third Grand Slam, but they were unable to claim a bonus point.
France's sublime 53-10 win over England on Saturday ensures Ireland still have work to do against England on home soil next weekend, with Les Bleus facing Wales in Paris.
Ireland may well be severely weakened for that match as they lost a number of players against Scotland, including a serious-looking injury for Garry Ringrose late on.
O'Gara's record levelled
Sexton returned to Ireland's line-up after recovering from injury and scored seven points from the boot before being taken off 10 minutes from time in Edinburgh.
The legendary fly-half, who intends to retire after this year's Rugby World Cup, is level with former team-mate O'Gara on 557 points and will be eager to break that next week.
While Sexton impressed, it was Hansen who was Ireland's star player, finishing with a try, an assist and 11 carries – only James Ryan had more among visiting players.
Key Opta Facts
– Ireland have won 20 of their 24 matches against Scotland in the Six Nations (L4); no side have beaten Scotland as often in the championship. In fact, excluding Italy, it us the most any side have won against another in the tournament since 2000.
– Ireland have won their last seven matches in the Six Nations, their joint-best run in the Championship alongside a seven game winning run between 2004 and 2005.
– Jones scored the opening try of the game for Scotland, taking his tally in this year's Six Nations to four – more than any other player. He has scored six tries in his last seven games in the championship.
– Stuart Hogg won his 100th cap for Scotland in this fixture, becoming the fourth man to reach a century of Test appearances for his country after Ross Ford, Chris Paterson and Sean Lamont; meanwhile, Ireland's Ringrose won his 50th cap in this match.
Ireland have a Grand Slam decider against England to look forward to next Saturday, while Scotland – whose Triple Crown wait goes on – host bottom side Italy.